Firstly, Poetry is a relatively new package manager that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It offers a complete solution for dependency management, virtual environments, and packaging. Setuptools, on the other hand, has been around for much longer and is more widely used in the Python community.
One of the biggest differences between the two is the approach to dependency management. Poetry uses a lock file to ensure that all dependencies are installed with a specific version number. This helps to prevent version conflicts between dependencies and ensures that everything works as intended. Setuptools, on the other hand, relies on an installation manifest file which specifies what packages need to be installed.
Another difference is in how they handle virtual environments. Poetry creates virtual environments automatically for each project and manages them itself, while Setuptools requires users to manually create and activate virtual environments using tools like Virtualenv.
Poetry also includes several features not found in setuptools such as support for poetry.toml files (a simplified version of setup.py), direct installation of Git repositories or PyPI packages from URLs, and integration with popular build tools like Pytest and Flake8.
Setuptools does have its advantages though. Its long history means it has strong community support and many third-party plugins available. It also provides more fine-grained control over installation options like installing scripts or data files outside of pure Python packages.
So which one should you use? Ultimately it depends on your needs. If you’re starting a new project or want a simpler solution for dependency management then Poetry may be the way forward. If you’re working with an existing codebase or require more specific control over your installation process then Setuptools may be more appropriate.
In conclusion, both Poetry and Setuptools are powerful Python tools that offer different approaches to package management. It’s important to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to choose the right one for your project.